“I saw an ad in the local paper for Independent Custody Visitors. To be honest I had never heard of this before and thought ‘this is something a bit out of the ordinary’. Unlike my previous life, dealing with industrial projects, this was about dealing with people who were in a vulnerable situation and enquiring about their welfare while in police custody. Not everyone wants to talk to you, but most do.”
Last year, Norfolk’s ICVs carried out almost 200 visits across the county, checking on over 700 detainees. With the new year fast approaching, Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who runs the scheme, is putting out a call for more people to volunteer alongside them.
“As we get ready to welcome in the new year, and the resolutions that come with it, many Norfolk residents might be considering how they can give something back to society in 2019, possibly through volunteering.
“The closest most people will get to looking behind a cell door is watching police dramas and documentaries on television. But if you or one of your family members did find yourself in police custody, wouldn’t you want someone checking on your welfare? These volunteers are the eyes and ears of the public – visiting detainees every week of the year, reporting on what they see and offering public reassurance that the police are treating people with fairness and respect.”
Applications are being invited from individuals interested in joining any of the four ICV panels – King’s Lynn, Aylsham, Great Yarmouth or Wymondham. For more information, please click on the link http://www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk or contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk on 01953 424455 or by email here.